The centerpiece of this museum is "Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776–1876," a permanent exhibit that uses video and touch-screen monitors to tell the stories of pioneers in the freedom movement. The list includes Frances Ellens Watkins Harper, a conductor on the Underground Railroad and suffragist, Thomas Morris Chester, a journalist and lawyer who was the first black to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, and Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield,
a renowned singer who performed for Queen Victoria. The museum's gift shop stocks one of the area's widest selection of books on black culture, history, fiction, poetry, and drama, along with African textiles and sculpture and African-American jewelry, prints, and tiles. Opened in the Bicentennial year of 1976, this is the first museum of its kind funded and built by a city.